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Robinho to play on despite rape conviction

IANS | Rio de Janeiro |

Former Brazil international forward Robinho plans to continue playing in 2018 despite being convicted of rape.

An Italian court last month sentenced Robinho to nine years in prison for participating in the 2013 gang rape of a woman in Milan, reports Xinhua news agency.

The punishment will not be enforced until the appeal process ends but Brazil does not allow for the extradition of its citizens, meaning Robinho would only risk being arrested if he left his home country.

The 33-year-old, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, said he would weigh offers from interested clubs after parting ways with Brazilian Serie A side Atletico Mineiro.

“Honestly, I haven’t made up my mind,” the former Real Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan player told reporters on Sunday. “First I’m going to turn off the telephone and have a break. I want to rest with my family because the holiday period is short.”

Earlier, player agent Marisa Alija confirmed Robinho had opted not to renew his contract with Atletico Mineiro, whom he joined in February 2016.

“Atletico gave us a deadline to respond and we couldn’t do that within the given timeframe,” Alija said.